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Board to have Rs 425cr back in its coffers

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has taken steps to recover the Rs 425 crore Lalit Modi cost it when selling the television rights for the IPL. Amol Karhadkar reports.

cricket Updated: Jun 26, 2010 00:37 IST
Amol Karhadkar

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has taken steps to recover the Rs 425 crore Lalit Modi cost it when selling the television rights for the IPL.

Modi has struck a deal that involved a “facilitation fee” of US$ 40 million (or Rs 425 crore), something he kept hidden from the BCCI, and this money will now return to the coffers of the Board.

This is good news for the franchises involved as the money is part of the central revenues pool, 80% of which is divided among the owners of IPL teams.

Following the IPL Governing Council’s meeting in Mumbai on Friday, it was decided that MSM Satellite pay the BCCI Rs 300 crore that was given to WSG Mauritius as an “improper payment.” MSM’s admission of this fact and their prompt agreement to repay the Rs 300 crore in eight installments only adds weight to the Board’s allegations of impropriety in the deal Modi struck.

MSM had entered into an agreement with WSG, who had acquired the global broadcast rights for IPL for 10 years, as the partner broadcaster. However, on March 14, 2009, Modi terminated MSM’s contract without reason and the very next day, awarded Indian subcontinent rights to WSG Mauritius.

After re-negotiating with WSG Mauritius, MSM, owners of Max, regained the broadcast rights but agreed to pay Rs 425 as facilitation fee over nine years. HT has learnt that since MSM has already paid WSG Mauritius Rs 125 crore, this will be paid to the BCCI once it is recovered from WSG Mauritius. “MSM have said that they have already initiated legal action to recover the amount that is due,” an insider revealed.

“The first termination in itself was completely uncalled for,” the official told Hindustan Times on Friday. “It is established that he did it only to pressurise MSM to enter into a new deal. On March 14 (2009), he (Modi) terminates the MSM contract and on the 15th he sends an email to WSG to consider MSM as one of the prospective clients. This
clearly shows he had vested interests.”

Restructuring of franchises deferred

The Governing Council also decided to put on hold any restructuring of shareholding patterns in the Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils. The two teams had applied for permission to make changes but the GC decided “to hold the decision in the wake of ongoing investigation into all the IPL franchise”.

Five of the six co-owners of the Chandigarh franchise had applied to sell their stakes, with actor Preity Zinta deciding to retain seven of her 23 per cent stake.